Here are some stories for you to peruse on the longest day of the year:
The Land of 10,000 Takes: Minnesota's long, tortured and very, very complicated relationship with 'Fargo' - Grantland
Absurdities, Blatant Lies, Chutzpah, Political Expediency, Odd Couples - Mish. I often disagree with Mish, but he's spot-on here about Iraq and Syria.
The Stories of our Grandchildren - The Archdruid Report. Money quote, "Equally, it’s much easier, and much more comfortable, to insist that the ongoing decline in standards of living here in America is either the fault of the poor or the fault of the rich. Either evasion makes it possible to ignore all the evidence that suggests that what most Americans think of as a normal standard of living is actually an absurd degree of extravagance, made possibly only briefly by the reckless squandering of the most lavish energy resource our species will ever know."
I Was Tony Gwynn's Bat Boy - Deadspin (h/t to my sister). In case you missed it earlier this week. Very good.
Methane Inquiry Closes, but Questions Linger - Texas Tribune. The industry may be able to claim that they haven't polluted many wells with fracking fluids, but methane is another story. How dangerous it is in water wells, I'm not sure. Can't be good for indoor air quality, though.
Slavery's Legacy: Race-Based Economic Inequality - Pacific Standard. Or why Mississippi is so backward and poor.
Casino Boom Pinches Northeast States - Wall Street Journal. Indiana is hit, too. It took Ohio way to long to legalize casino gambling, but I think the expansion in the state has gone pretty reasonably, with just one casino in each of the four biggest cities, and the race tracks from Toledo and Columbus moving to Dayton and Youngstown to take advantage of casino-free markets in which to place racinos. Canton-Akron is the only large orphan area, but they aren't very far from Cleveland or Youngstown, and Thistledown is considering a move to that market. Gambling is no longer a growth sector, and glitzy casinos outside of Vegas are probably a thing of the past.
Answering J.D. Salinger's Fan Mail Made Her A Writer - Vox. An interesting tidbit about one of the types of fan mail: "The last category, there were the letters that were tragic. They ran the gamut, but lot of them were older people who were reliving or thinking about their experiences during World War II. Because of this, they had read Salinger when his works first came out, and because of that they felt that he had captured their experience during the war or after the war, and they were rereading it and realized, oh my god, this is about the war."
How the Mormons Conquered America: The success of the Mormon religion is a study in social adaptation - Nautilus
Arizona Could Be Out of Water in 6 Years - Smithsonian
The House of Mondavi: How an American Wine Empire Was Born - Longreads
How Foster Farms Used the USDA, Big Chicken Lobbyists and Lawyers to Avoid a Recall - Firedoglake. Interesting, if a bit dramatic.